Emerging Market Submissions Outnumber Developed World
Abu Dhabi, UAE, 4 July 2015 – The Zayed Future Energy Prize, the world’s preeminent award for innovative contributions to the future of energy and sustainable development, received the highest combined number of 1,437 submissions and nominations in its eight-year history when entries to the 2016 awards closed on June 30.
A total of 888 submissions to the Large Corporation, Small and Medium Enterprise, Non-Profit Organisation and Global High Schools categories and 549 nominations for the Lifetime Achievement award were received from 97 countries worldwide. The previous record was set in July 2014, when the 2015 prize registered 1,111 entries.
Emerging market nations provided the largest share of submissions. Led by India (67) and China (41), submissions from the Asia region rose 50 percent over last year to 186. In Africa, 102 submissions mark a 100 percent increase. Submissions to Latin American nations increased 103 percent to 241, with Mexico and Colombia responsible for 83 and 54 respectively.
Commenting on the number of entries, His Excellency Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, president of the Republic of Iceland and chair of the Zayed Future Energy Prize Jury, said: “The extraordinarily large number of submissions from all over the world demonstrates how the prize is now firmly established as the leading international honour for those who are shaping the energy landscape of our times and building a new foundation for the future of energy. The legacy of Sheik Zayed combined with the important financial and prestigious dimensions of the Award gives the world of innovators and pioneers the inspiration to achieve a new level of excellence in the evolution of renewable energy and environmental sustainability; thus improving the lives of people everywhere in the world.”
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and director general of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, said: “Named in honour of the UAE’s Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the prize is contributing to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future and has already touched the lives of more than 150 million people. This year’s record number of entries and the steady growth over the last eight years demonstrates that the Zayed Future Energy Prize can help innovators in renewable energy and sustainability bring even more positive change to people’s lives around the world.”
The global distribution of 2016 prize entries reflects rising investment in renewable energy in developing economies. In 2014, China increased its share of USD 270.2 billion global renewable energy investment to 31 percent. India saw a 14 percent annual rise in investment to USD 7.4 billion, while Brazil increased its share from 2 to 3 per cent.
The prize now embarks on the four-stage evaluation process that begins with due diligence by a research and analysis firm and culminates in a meeting of the prize jury to select the winner in each category. The jury features heads-of-state, energy experts and world-renowned personalities with an interest in sustainable development.
Over the past seven years, the Zayed Future Energy Prize has recognised 39 innovators and positively affected over 150 million lives in communities across the world. The winners of the 2016 Zayed Future Energy Prize will be announced at the annual awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi on 18 January 2016, during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
The Zayed Future Energy Prize acknowledges and rewards outstanding achievements in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability. Established in 2008, the prize honours Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, and his legacy of environmental stewardship.